Residents in Ash and Stoke sub Hamdon are getting ready to try brand new sports including boccia, seated volleyball and new age kurling when Sport50 sessions arrive in June.
Sport50 was the idea of South Somerset District Council’s Healthy Lifestyles Team and it offers anyone over the age of 50 the opportunity to try a wide range of adapted sports which are suitable for more mature people.
These new sessions have been made possible following support from Somerset County Councillor John Bailey. Councillor Bailey explains more about bringing the sessions to Ash and Stoke, “I am pleased that the County Health and Wellbeing fund is able to support this excellent community project. The benefits of a social activity are well known and this will reach out into local communities and offer them the opportunity to sample a range of activities. The fund will also allow it to be rolled out to Ilchester and Tintinhull later this year.”
Sam Wenden-de-Lira, Healthy Lifestyles Officer at South Somerset District Council, explains more about how Sport50 works, “The great thing about the project is that we work directly with each community to remove many of the barriers that people encounter when looking to set up exercise classes. Our help includes booking the venue, providing all the promotional materials, supplying the equipment and finding the qualified coach.
“This leaves the community to simply spread the word. Following an initial four taster sessions the team then support each community to run the activities themselves. We currently have sessions running in Bruton, Crewkerne, East Coker, Ilminster, Mudford, Tatworth and West Coker.”
Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at South Somerset District Council said, “Thanks to John we have been able to spread the net of Sport50 even wider. This project is an ideal way to bring sustainable activities to communities across South Somerset.
“The beauty of Sport50 is that once we have kick-started the activities, the community volunteers have stepped up and organised the sessions themselves. The Healthy Lifestyles Team is still there to offer on-going support and also to provide the equipment and funding towards venue hire.”
Photo L-R: Catherine Devonshire (South Somerset District Council Healthy Lifestyles Officer), Cllr John Bailey, Sam Wenden-de-Lira (South Somerset District Council Healthy Lifestyles Officer).